Having a laptop certainly makes this a lot easier, as evidenced by the fact I just got my laptop back and now I am updating, lol. Anyway, I have this gap of time between getting off work at 2 and picking up the eldest child at 3:15. I tried to go to the post office before realizing that despite putting the box I needed to mail right by the front door, I still managed to forget it at home. I mailed off one letter, which felt a bit silly, walking into the Post Office and asking for one stamp.
So, I got around to watching the Wonder Woman animated movie. As anticipated, I had some issues with it, but I can at least say that if a non-fan watched it, I wouldn’t cringe at what they were ingesting. I spoke with redforkempire about it a little before I watched it, since it was reviewed by this girl he knew. As I said then, she was pretty much wrong on her assessments in a few ways; she claimed it was lifted straight from Amazons Attack!, the last TPB arc by G. Simone, but it really wasn’t. Only the location was the same. In AA, the Amazons are attacking Washington, D.C., after a long lead up where the Navy was blockading Themyscira since it has been moved by Zeus, blah blah blah. It wasn’t my favorite arc, as you can tell. Also in AA, Diana was working against the Amazons since they were fighting the U.S., and it set up the whole Diana/Hippolyta feud that followed. The movie, by contrast, is a fairly straightforward retelling of Diana’s origin story, and is clearly on George Perez’s “Gods and Mortals” story from the 1980s. It also borrows more from the old TV show. Steve Trevor, the American pilot, lands on Themyscira accidentally, is found by the Amazons, and one has to take him back to Man’s World and act as an ambassador. The bigger part of the plot is that Ares, who was imprisoned on the island for centuries, escaped with the help of one of the Amazons and is wreaking havoc on Man’s World. So in the movie, Diana’s mission is twofold.
What I loved about the movie was, frankly, the gore. It is the first PG-13 offering from DC Comics in animated movies, and this is because quite a few people die, some by being beheaded even, in battle. It’s not exactly graphic, but I love that they don’t pull any punches. Also, I’ve had this argument with other people before, regarding the OMAC project, where Diana broke Max Lord’s neck after he controlled Superman’s brain into trying to kill other superheroes. Although it’s been well-established in comics continuity that neither Batman nor Superman is willing to kill, it has been hinted at and sometimes even shown that Wonder Woman has no such restrictions. It wouldn’t make sense if she did; she’s from a warrior race in ancient Greece. In case you haven’t seen 300, that means they killed their enemies. The only possible argument here is that Diana was created after the Amazons were at peace, so she had no opportunity to fight in earnest, but the fact is that the Amazons not only taught her how to kill in battle, they also most certainly regaled her with many a story of their exploits. It’s their history, and she is their daughter. None of them would think twice about hiding that from her.
So, I love that aspect of this movie. It starts with the origins of the Amazons, of them fighting (and dying and killing) Ares’ army of men. When Hippolyta tries to kill Ares, she is stopped by Zeus, and only allowed to take Ares prisoner. Then later they get to live in peace on their island, and so on. I’m not going to recap the plot overall, because it just needs to be seen. But there is another point of dialogue that I adored, and I feel underscores how Diana is different from Bruce and Clark/Kal-el. When she first lands on U.S. soil, she is in a park, and sees a few young boys excluding a crying girl from their play-swordsmanship. When she is perplexed and goes over to the girl for an explanation, she is aghast when the girl says she has to stay there and be ‘saved’ by the boys. Diana then proceeds to get a fake sword and shows the girl, in detail, how to thrust a sword to better eviscerate her enemy. She even said that to the girl, claiming the boys “were doing it all wrong, and would certainly fall in battle immediately.” Hell YEA. That’s my Wonder Woman right there.
There are other points of battle that I really enjoyed, and I was surprised at how detailed and quite engrossing the extended fights towards the end were. A lot of times, animated battles are too choppy or predictable, or even downright boring. I was a lot more impressed by this one. There was also another part, I’ll have to rewatch to be sure, where I think Diana actually slits the throat of a guard with her tiara. Awesome.
Okay, so what I did not like…..Etta Candy. To be honest, I’m a bit torn on you, my poor Ms. Candy, the most maligned of all WW supporting characters. Etta is the only character besides Hippolyta and Steve Trevor who survives from the very first Wondy comics. Back then, Etta was comic relief, a sort of foil who was meant to represent the ‘modern’ girl who was inspired by Wondy’s appearance. True to the implications of her name, Etta was a very short, very round girl, who weirdly enough oversaw her own group of “Candy Girls” who were basically a bunch of tall, skinny cheerleaders. Etta came up to roughly their navels. But, whatever, it was attempting to show a group of young, forward thinking girls who followed the feminist ideal of Wonder Woman. Forwarding on from there, Etta became Diana’s best friend, an associate at her work in the Army, then a fellow Army officer (yes, Wondy was in the Army), and eventually a special agent under Nick Fury alongside Diana (that is the current continuity). Also, in the next-to-most-recent continuity, DC finally ended the Diana-and-Steve OTP by having Etta and Steve marry, presumably once he figured out Diana was just never going to give it up.
Now, in the movie, Etta has a very brief appearance…as a secretary or Army personnel, it’s not quite clear, who drops a pen under a desk and asks the big, strong, tough Steve to move the desk and fetch it. When Diana, with an expression just short of an eye roll, literally lifts the desk up and gets the pen, Etta gives her the ‘oh-no-you-didn’t’ look. It’s a very funny scene, and illustrates Diana’s sometime-impatience with women who refuse to acknowledge their own strengths, but it’s Etta. Really, after her history, she deserves a bit better. She’s always been shown to be one of Diana’s best friends. I understand that DC wanted to use an established supporting cast, but they could have fleshed that out a bit more. And really, the encounter isn’t completely unbelievable, even with Etta; it can easily be a point that they joke over later. Etta is capable of being that devious now and then. But….I dunno, it just stuck me there.
I pretty much hated Steve. I am not a huge Steve Trevor fan anyway; his macho routine always irritated me. A person like that should be Diana’s foil, not her romantic interest. And on the other hand, there were times I actually liked him in this…but only when he shut up and was actually doing something. Or when he was a bit honest, which never seemed to happen. And I will give it to him….he wasn’t as bad as the TV show Steve. But he looked like he was about 60 the way he was animated, and there was zero spark between he and Diana (yet she kisses him anyway, go figure. Have to bow to continuity, right?). He also served the purpose of getting her to start to relax her Amazon-taught hatred of men, and to maybe see the other side.
But his dialogue! Dear God above, why, DC, why??? You take such a great actor as Nathan Fillion and give him this? Case in point: the Amazons are warriors. Warriors that see a lot of nasty stuff on the battlefield, right? I’m thinking feces, urine, blood, entrails, vomit, and so on. Hello, it’s battle. It’s not clean. Fast forward to the Amazons interrogating Steve once he lands on the island. Under the magic lasso, he gets frustrated and yells, “I don’t have to take this crap!” Despite his immediate apology, Queen Hippolyta makes him explain what ‘crap’ means, since they had never heard this word. When he says it’s another word for excrement, they all make disgusted faces, and the queen goes to her daughter, “You see how disgusting mankind is?” They were offended by the word ‘crap’! These are people who have cheerfully beheaded men and laughed. Why on earth would the mere word (obviously spoken in anger and turmoil) upset them? It was just a stretch by the scriptwriter to show how men were uncouth and women were more refined. I don’t need the clue-by-four, I get what the Amazons are about and why they hate men. Get it, thanks. The sole purpose of using ‘crap’, which they actually do, repeatedly, is to get the laugh when Diana herself finally uses it.
And then, Hippolyta says, “Here the true nature of men is laid bare. What other depraved thoughts must you be thinking?” Since Steve is still under the rope, and it compels him to answer any questions, he says automatically, “Your daughter’s got a nice rack.” Whereupon all the Amazons look at Diana, who blushes and covers her chest.
Does anyone else see the problem here? Go ahead, I’ll give you a moment. Hint, it has something to do with their reaction to ‘crap.’
How about, if they don’t know what crap means, how in the hell would they know that ‘rack’ referred to her breasts? As an aside, in the book adaptation he says ‘ass’, which I hated at first but obviously would be a bit better in this context. Also, at one point Steve asks Artemis what Diana’s ‘deal’ is, and of course Artemis knows exactly what he means and responds. I have no idea how she could get what ‘deal’ meant in this context….maybe she reads special current-lingo comics that get beamed to Themyscira. It’s honestly my best guess when it comes to this dialogue.
So, whatever, Steve has shitty dialogue. Sorry, Steve, I’m not as sympathetic to you as I am to Etta.
That’s mostly what I hated, and I’m going back to what I loved (which thankfully outweighed the hate). Specifically, I’m going back to my favorite part of the whole movie. And it actually has nothing to do with Wonder Woman.
An Amazon named Persephone is the one who frees Ares from his prison, and journeys with him to Man’s World. It’s clear that she loves Ares, who seduced her while she was a guard to his prison. She is with him the whole time, even while his newly-arisen army is again decimating her sisters. Back in the beginning of the movie, it was shown how another sister’s cowardice led to Persephone getting a sword to the eye and creating a huge scar across her face. So this character could be really one-note, all bent on revenge and getting back at those who let that happen.
But instead, we get the best commentary on the Amazons and their tragic flaw. Hippolyta is the one who confronts Persephone in the climatic battle, and actually runs her through, delivering a mortal blow. And when she does, she says to her, “Why did you turn against us, your sisters? I gave you peace, and prosperity, and eternal life.”
And Persephone, heartbreakingly replies that doing so also took away “love, and children, and family….the Amazons are warriors, but we are women, too.”
I mean, that is brilliant, and no one ever thinks about that. It’s always about men’s ways versus women’s ways, but the argument of the Amazons existence ignores the fact that they also lose companionship with men, and children, and family ties. The loss of children has been brought up in some of the Simone runs, and I have always been glad to see it. But I was ecstatic, and moved, to see it addressed this way in the movie. It really shows the Amazons what they have lost by retreating from the world. (As another aside, one reviewer I usually like pointed out it should have been ‘human’ instead of women to stay completely nonsexist, and I get that, but I like it anyway). Persephone turned out to be a wonderfully sad and tragic character, rather than just a two-dimensional character. Barring the fact, of course, that she is actually two-dimensional.
Overall, I am pleased with the movie, and I don’t have any nonSteve cringeworthy moments, so that’s a good record. I can now safely look forward to the Green Lantern movie. Except for the fact that it’s not Kyle or John Stewart, or not even Alan Scott, but that dork
I’m home now, but still on the laptop because my daughter is on the home computer. When we move into the new house, we’re going to install a wireless network so I can actually be on the comp now and then with a teenager in the house. I actually used the parental controls for the first time on my computer, albeit just the time controls. It shuts down during the hours of 9 p.m. and 6 a.m. so she can’t get on at that time. I don’t feel guilty at all, for several reasons: she had started neglecting her homework and her personal hygiene, not to mention she was getting less and less sleep. I spoke with her repeatedly about it and got nowhere (well, specifically I got some eye rolls, a whole bunch of ‘just a minute’s and a lot of ‘I’ll do it in just a second’ all of which combined to late nights with unbrushed teeth). So, I told her I was going to do it, and then I did. So far, it actually seems to be helping. She hasn’t been upset, just shrugs and goes to do her nightly things. I’ve had more problems this week getting her to stop using her cell phone for excessive calls, since she has a prepaid that is supposed to be for emergencies. What bothers me the most is when she uses it at home. Mostly because I have unlimited long distance on my home phone, and she is allowed to use it all she wants. Why she has to use the cell minutes up is beyond me. I can’t really recall what it was like for me at her age since we didn’t have cell phones back then, nor did we have computers. I do get the comp addiction, since I have a bit of it myself. But she hasn’t quite developed the skills to manage it as yet.
Both of the girls seem to be at full health now, although I hate saying that because I don’t think we have any natural wood in this house to knock on. I need to get back to my regular doctor visits now, because I missed a bunch while the girls were hospitalized. My eyes are still not 100% and it’s about time to get them operated on again. I need to have all that done before we move, and my schedule is just still so damn full.
I have committed to going up and helping kyrielslight with the Fairy Faire or whatever it’s called, up in Virginia/Maryland? That’s midMay. I also just told my father I’d bring the girls down to Key West to visit him in May, so I need to figure out where I can do that. And May 1st, I’ll be at AnachroCon in Atlanta with redforkempire and some others. I just worry I’ll be doing the last of my sewing the night before, kinda how I was doing with Megacon. But I really don’t want to just buy something, not when I am capable of sewing my costume. It’s really frustrating….I don’t have the time to put into the outfits as I would like. I also really wanted to do a prop I had in mind, which would require an extended visit to Home Depot. But when do I have time to craft it? I feel like I’m cheating if I ‘cop out’ and buy though. Really can’t win here.
We’re flying out in a week from tomorrow to start looking at houses. I’m looking forward to some uninterrupted time with Batman, since we got just one night since he came back, and it’s been pretty frantic since then (plus we are sleeping in the house with our two kids, my parents, and my sister, and it is NOT that roomy). We also had the movers come and take all our stuff already, since it takes a while to get things shipped with the Navy. We’re down to one room, our clothes, and the girls toys. Overall, it’s pretty stressful. The house hunt is….anticipatory. We’ve got a good list to look at, although the one house I really liked sold last week. There are still plenty, and you can’t tell until you see them in person as it is, but it’s easy to get attached or excited. Either way, we have to be ready to put an offer on one by the end of our visit, because we need to close in June.
Alright, I am tired, I'll post more some other time.